Getting WildStar players to play nice is easy: just make it the best option available.
This weekend at New York Comic Con I spent probably five solid hours loitering around the WildStar booth. I played through the beginner and intermediate areas that were ready for testing (Aurin Esper, baby), talked with the developers, and got input on how the greater geeking community felt about the highly anticipated MMORPG. As a method of appeasement to one of their more rabid fans, David "Scooter" Bass, the Senior Community Manager at Carbine Studios sat down with me to discuss the things he is most excited about with WildStar, and what he thinks the game has to offer that no other MMO can match.
The first thing that we discussed during our conversation was the design goal and philosophy of WildStar's ability system. Of all the goals in creating WildStar, making a game that is fun and engaging are two of the biggest priorities, and implementing these ideas has been a key factor in the design of many of WildStar's mechanics. Ability types such as Press & Hold, or abilities with Charges give players direct control over how their character plays and fights, creating a very close connection between the players' and the characters' actions. Mobility is also a huge part of WildStar. While playing the build available at the booth, I died at least a dozen times simply because I had to reteach myself to be constantly moving and fighting at the same time.
WildStar is one of the first modern MMOs I've seen that proudly brags about its learning curve. Jumping into the level 25 zone from scratch was a genuinely overwhelming experience, and I quickly realized that the skills I had learned from MMOs would not be sufficient for making my way through WildStar. Even on simple packs of trash mobs, players are expected to learn the move sets of each enemy type and to plan ahead their method of attack, lest they get overrun and slain by a pack of reckless Rowsdowers.
WildStar is always taking things to the next level. Once you get a handle on a certain mechanic, we're eager to see if you can handle that and a few other tricks we've got lying around. We also want to make sure you're actually learning this stuff...quests are like the lessons, and dungeons will be the exams.
During our conversation, we also discussed the personality and style of WildStar. While the quirky, raw humor the game displays is a definite staple in its personality, WildStar will also feature a darker aspect that the community hasn't yet seen.
We didn't want to go with gritty realism like most games. We want WildStar to be fun, and you need to be able to laugh. On the other hand, WildStar also has a darker edge that we haven't given away yet, but you should definitely keep an eye out for it. The game will get serious, and will have a strong story that interested players can really sink their teeth into.